“But we will now turn from our digression to further consider the question of reason and instinct. The latter, according to the ancients, proceeded from the divine, the former from purely human. One (the instinct) is the product of the senses, a sagaciousness shared by the lowest animals, even those who have no reason – it is the αισθετικον the other is the product of the reflective faculties – νοετικον, denoting judiciousness and human intellectuality.
Therefore, an animal devoid of reasoning powers has in its inherent instinct an unerring faculty which is but that spark of the divine which lurks in every particle of inorganic matter – itself materialized spirit.
In the Jewish Kabala, the second and the third chapters of Genesis are explained thus: When the second Adam is created “out of the dust”, matter has become so gross that it reigns supreme. Out of its lusts evolves woman, and Lilith has the best of spirit. The Lord God, “walking in the garden in the cool of the day” (the sunset of spirit, or divine light obscured by the shadows of matter) curses not only them who have committed the sin, but even the ground itself, and all living things – the tempting serpent-matter above all.
Who but the kabalists are able to explain this seeming act of injustice? How are we to understand this cursing of all created things, innocent of any crime? The allegory is evident.
The curse inheres in matter itself. Henceforth, it is doomed to struggle against its own grossness for purification; the latent spark of divine spirit, though smothered, is still there; and its invincible attraction upward compels it to struggle in pain and labor to free itself.
Logic shows us that as all matter had a common origin, it must have attributes in common, and as the vital and divine spark is in man’s material body, so it must lurk in every subordinate species. The latent mentality which, in the lower kingdoms is recognized as semi-consciousness, consciousness and instinct, is largely subdued in man.
Reason, the outgrowth of the physical brain, develops at the expense of instinct – the flickering reminiscence of a once divine omniscience – spirit. Reason, the badge of the sovereignty of physical man over all other physical organisms, is often put to shame by the instinct of an animal.
As his brain is more perfect than that of any other creature, its emanations must naturally produce the highest results of mental action; but reason avails only for the consideration of material things; it is in incapable of helping its possessor to a knowledge of spirit.
In losing instinct, man loses his intuitional powers, which are the crown and ultimatum of instinct. Reason is the clumsy weapon of the scientists – intuition the unerring guide of the seer. Instinct teaches plant and animal their seasons for the procreation of their species, and guides the dumb brute to fond his appropriate remedy in the hour of sickness.
Reason – the pride of man – fails to check the propensities of his matter, and brooks no restraint upon the unlimited gratification of his senses. Far from leading him to be his own physician, its subtile sophistries lead him too often to his own destruction.”
H. P. Blavatsky